What are the functions of an IAS officer?

An IAS Officer is responsible for the law and order and general administration in the area under his work. The functions of an IAS officer are immense and manifold. They have to handle the daily affairs of the government, including framing and implementation of policy in consultation with the concerned minister-incharge of the concerned ministry. Implementation of policy requires supervision and travelling to places where the policies are being implemented. Implementation also includes expenditure of public funds which again requires personal supervision as the officers are answerable to the Parliament and State Legislature for any irregularities that may occur.

In the process of policy formulation and decision making, officers at various levels like joint secretary, deputy secretary make their contributions and the final shape to the policy is given or a final decision is taken with the concurrence of the minister concerned or the cabinet depending upon the gravity of the issue.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel is remembered as the "Patron Saint" of India's civil servants for establishing modern all-India services. IAS Officers are trained to handle government affairs. This being the main responsibility, every civil servant is assigned to a particular office which deals with policy matters pertaining to that area. The policy matters are framed, modified, interpreted in this office under the direct supervision of the Administrative Officer in consultation with the Minister. The implementation of policies is also done on the advice of the Officer.

Cabinet Secretary stands at the top of the government machinery involved in policy making followed by Secretary/Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, Director, Under Secretary and Junior Scale Officers in that order. These appointments are filled by civil servants according to seniority in the Civil Services. In the process of decision making, a number of officers give their views to the Minister who weighs the matter and makes a decision considering the issue involved. The implementation process involves supervision and touring. The allocation of enormous funds to and by the field officers calls for supervision and the officials concerned have to reply to queries made in the Parliament for which they must remain well informed.

The civil servant has also to represent the Government in another country or in international forums. At the level of Deputy Secretary, he is even authorized to sign agreements on behalf of the Government.

The Indian administrative service occupies an important role in the transformation process of the society. It is this bureaucratic setup that implements all the decisions of the government and determines the success of the government. An I.A.S. officer having positive personality traits alone can achieve success in his profession. The selection process of such officers, therefore, is vital for ensuring the success of Indian bureaucracy.

The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers handle all affairs of the government. And thus their work for Civil framework of the country affects all aspects of modern life including environment, education, health, agriculture, law and order, defence, foreign affairs, social welfare and taxation. In short, it is the job of an IAS officer to look after civil administration and be involved with policy-making at all levels. Thus IAS is an important part of over-all framework of a country and that statement undoubtedly justifies the amount of competition that exists in civil service examinations conducted every year by UPSC to give the nation.  A fresh batch of young and dedicated civil servants may manage the steel frame of the country.